A Walk Around Skopje, Macedonia, Part Two

“If you want to know your future, look at your past.” — Macedonian saying, as told to me by a Macedonian I know

Fun Fact: Macedonia and Kosovo are the only Peace Corps host countries that share a medical unit. This means that, thanks to a persistent ear infection, I have been visiting Macedonia frequently.

Here are some photos I took during walk(s) around the city.

Macedonia ship
Controversial “ship” that might be removed
Macedonia stone bridge
Stone Bridge
Macedonia river
Macedonia Alexander the Great Statue
Expensive and controversial Alexander the Great statue

Macedonia has been undergoing a lot of political change lately. There is talk of removing its controversial statues and other monuments. You can read more about it here.

Here is a previous post I wrote with more pictures of Macedonia:

Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence

So, Macedonia totally gets props for having a museum with the longest name of any museum I have ever visited. 😉

Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence

The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence focuses on Macedonia’s rebellion against the Ottoman Empire (early 1900s) through World Wars I and II until the end of its communist rule in 1991.

Macedonian constitution
Macedonian Constitution

Some interesting things I learned:

  • Ellen Stone was an American missionary living in Macedonia. She was kidnapped and held captive for 6 months by a revolutionary group looking to fund their uprising against the Ottoman Empire. They eventually got the money they wanted and set Ms. Stone free. This is considered to be the first time an American was ever held hostage overseas.
  • During the second world war, Macedonia was not recognized as a country. Macedonians fought with the armies of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece.
  • In 1944, Macedonia was recognized as an independent state and its language was finally recognized.
  • The Macedonian declaration of independence was signed in 1991.
Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence stairway
Front staircase in the entryway: Important figures from Macedonia’s history
museum exhibit 1
1944 — Macedonia was recognized as an independent state
museum exhibit 2
Soldiers + war scene
museum exhibit 3
Photographs hanging above a stairway depict the victims of communism (sorry it is so blurry!)
Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence ceiling
Ceiling to represent the indigenous peoples of Macedonia

A few things to note about The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence:

  • Entrance fee: 300 Denar (about 4.80 Euro)
  • You can only walk through the museum as part of a guided tour.
  • The museum offers tours in English.
  • No photos are allowed inside the museum aside from the entrance hall. I was bad and snuck around the corner to snap three photos inside. Normally I try to respect “no photography” rules but this one just seemed excessive.
  • Mannequins are heavily used in the exhibits.

Note: I took notes as best I could on my phone while I was touring the museum. Apologies if any information is incorrect (though I think what I have posted is accurate).

A Visit to Tvrdina Kale Fortress, Skopje, Macedonia

On a recent visit to Skopje, Macedonia, I took a walk to the fortress in the middle of the city. I had previously posted a photo of the outside of the fortress on a different visit to Skopje:

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You enter the fortress by crossing through a public park. There was a gate with a stop sign, but an older man selling bottles of water by the entrance just waved me through. I’m going to be honest — I was less than impressed by my visit. There were no signs ANYWHERE, so I had no idea what I was looking at. I had hoped to learn some of the fortress’ history. I had also thought maybe there would be … I don’t know … some artifacts or something? It does offer good views of the whole city, though.

From a Google search, I learned that the fortress is from the Byzantine empire and was built in 6th century A.D. Even online info about this place seems pretty scant.

kale skopje 2
Green park
kale skopje 5
Fortress wall
Nice view from the park
kale skopje
Macedonian flag, with the mountains in the distance
kale skopje 3
What’s this? I don’t know!
View of Skopje’s Contemporary Art Museum
filip II sports arena
View of Skopje’s sports arena
kale skopje 4
Crumbling stone

On my walk back to the bus station, I took this picture. I liked the lion statue. 🙂

skopje macedonia


A Walk Around Skopje, Macedonia

I took these photos on a recent visit to Skopje, Macedonia. (You can read about my first visit to Macedonia here.)

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Across the street from the bus station …
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So many flags …
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Fortress/castle from the Ottoman Empire. It’s huge! I hope I get a chance to go back and visit.
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I loved this domed church. So pretty!
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Downtown Skopje, Macedonia